Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas on Monday addressed an increase in homicides that left several dead within the span of a week, suggesting the need for changes to counter a “status quo that has us flirting with murder records.”
Eleven homicides have been reported across the metropolitan area, including eight in Kansas City proper, since Nov. 29 amid an exceptionally high increase in the violent crime rate. Three fatal shootings unfolded in separate shootings across Kansas City on Monday alone.
The majority of the homicides were the result of gun violence, a trend in Kansas City, where nearly 90% of homicides annually involve the use of a firearm.
In a tweet, the mayor said it is difficult “see the staggering amount of crime we’ve experienced recently and to hear folks merely say we need more of the status quo that has us flirting with murder records for years.” The mayor added, “Those of us who care about these issues beyond slogans will keep pushing for a safer Kansas City.”
Councilwoman Melissa Robinson echoed those concerns Thursday. She has frequently urged city leaders to increase funding for conflict resolution and violence reduction initiatives. Robinson, who represents the 3rd District, wants to dedicate 1% of the annual city’s operating budget to crime prevention efforts to address the root causes of violence. The city currently spends under $2 million annually on those efforts. The additional money would generate about $5.7 million toward crime reduction efforts.
“This is a community problem,” said Rosilyn Temple, founder and executive director with KC Mothers In Charge, an outreach and anti-violence group. “It starts in the home and violence is generational. It’s our own people, our own family members and families are steadily allowing this to happen.”
Police said Thursday that overall violent crime and the number of homicides are down compared to a year ago, when Kansas City saw a record 154 killings. As of Monday, police said there were 28 nonfatal shootings. So far this year, Kansas City police reported 415 nonfatal shootings.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: THE MISSOURI TIMES
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